4. With Doors Open
5. Half Light
6. Medi Hiss
Released May 2005
A clash of underground titans four years in the making, With Doors Open is a twin axe assault on the conventions of the guitar, dragging it kicking and screaming into the outer limits of sound. Vast and varied territory is covered here, from chaotic thrashing noise to minimal drone and beyond. Collective weight of experience is on show, as the players cajole continual streams of surprising sounds out of their instruments in a tight and dynamic interplay, confident with both subtle and assaultative sounds and structures. Edited from improvisations conducted over several years, only the cream of the crop has been harvested from hours of recordings, and shaped into a intricate pattern of light and shadow.
Opening with a squall of shrieking and scraping before rising into a glorious cacophony of freefalling noise, With Doors Open builds in tension and intensity before eventually opening out into soothing, drifting territory. Here too though, things are unsettled, never allowed to become narcoleptic, with dissonance hovering quietly in the background, gently nudging the listener, but never breaking them totally out of reverie.
Despite their 6-string origins, for the most part sounds here elude easy identification, there's a willingness to bust out some gnarly axe moves, unlike most experimental guitar music. Appropriately enough, this fearlessness reaches its zenith and yields it greatest fruit on the album's title track (featuring Joe Musgrove of Biffplex) - a maximalist mantra of chromatic noise blur, given wings by a towering psychedelic 'solo', cutting through the noise like light beams through smoke.